FedDev Ontario provides over $3.5 million for Sarnia, St. Thomas and Tillsonburg regional airports
August 13, 2021 – Sarnia, ON
Regional air transportation is crucial to local economies, the movement of people and goods across the country and maintaining operations with our trading partners. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting communities and local businesses from coast to coast to coast. With strategic positioning close to the border and surrounding growing industries, southwestern Ontario’s regional air transportation infrastructure helps to foster economic growth and regional connectivity.
The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI) supports access to air transportation and regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables the continuation of existing air routes and ensures airports remain operational and able to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.
Targeted support for southwestern Ontario air transportation ecosystem
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced non-repayable contributions totalling over $3.5 million for three regional southwestern Ontario airports: Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport, St. Thomas Municipal Airport and Tillsonburg Regional Airport.
Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport has been serving the Sarnia-Lambton community for over 60 years. FedDev Ontario’s $1.9-million non-repayable investment will support the construction of a new hangar and critical upgrades including plexi-glass barriers, sanitization stations, signage and equipment to assist in re-establishing regional scheduled service.
St. Thomas Municipal Airport, owned and operated by the Corporation of the City of St. Thomas, is a key municipal air facility providing complete service to a range of customers, including pilots and military aircraft. A $1.1-million non-repayable FedDev Ontario investment will improve airport operations through the construction of 8,000 square-meters of ramp space to accommodate the parking, fueling and servicing of regional aircraft. The project will facilitate the growth of industrial clients at the airport and throughout the region.
Tillsonburg Regional Airport, owned and operated by the Town of Tillsonburg, is Oxford County’s only paved runway and welcomes a variety of aircraft. This $535,000-non-repayable FedDev Ontario investment will support the expansion of the airport’s apron where aircraft are parked and maintained, extend its taxiway, the construction of access roads and perimeter fencing.
As a result, these investments will help create and maintain local jobs in the Tillsonburg, Sarnia and St. Thomas regions.
Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses right across Canada. It is essential to connecting Canadians living in rural and remote communities to urban centres, delivering Canadian goods to the global market and welcoming international visitors to all parts of the country, when it is safe to do so.